Jeff Rubin is the former chief economist and chief strategist at CIBC World Markets. His forthcoming book, The Expendables: How the Middle Class Got Screwed by Globalization, will be published in August.
The world has been turned upside down. The COVID-19 pandemic has already radically altered vast swaths of society, from human behaviour to health care, politics and economics. The big question is when or if things will return to normal.
Nothing of our past world is more vulnerable than globalization itself, which has been under attack in recent years, particularly by the protectionist policies of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Mr. Trump is up for reelection in November, and the pandemic couldn’t have arrived at a worse time for the Democrats, who once again closed ranks to keep their own populist, Bernie Sanders, from capturing their party’s nomination.
But they are confronted with a much tougher challenge than choosing another “electable” candidate, as they did when the party establishment anointed Hillary Clinton back in 2016.
While Joe Biden’s campaign is effectively grounded by physical distancing rules, Mr. Trump is free to hold White House news conferences every day to describe how his administration is saving millions of Americans from contagion.
If that’s not a big enough handicap for Democrats, consider how the United States’ struggle to obtain enough vitally needed medical supplies to contain the pandemic seems to be affirming all of the President’s polemics against globalization.
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